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design Ilmari Tapiovaara, 1946

The award-winning Domus Chair was designed in 1946 by Finnish designer and interior architect Ilmari Tapiovaara for the student housing complex Domus Academia in Helsinki. The original chair was made in wood – the only available material in post-war Finland – and intented for reading and general use. 

By combining solid wood and form-pressed plywood, Tapiovaara created a chair that conformed to the body in a new and highly comfortable way. The characteristic short armrests of the Domus Chair offer a surprising degree of support, while simultaneously allowing the chair to be pulled close to a table.

The Domus Chair was initially delivered from the factory in pieces for the retailer or end customer to assemble, which explain the visible screws in Tapiovaara's original design. The lightweight, stackable, and multi-purpose Domus quickly gained success in Finland and abroad. Its international recognition eventually made Domus the first successful post-war design export from Finland. Sold in the United States as the "Finnchair", its popularity led to numerous awards, such as the American Good Design Award, which Tapiovaara received in Chicago in 1950 and the Gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1951.       

Stackable until 4.

Materials Seat and backrest in plywood. Base and armrests in solid wood. The chair can be fully or half upholstered with leather or fabric.

Dimensions L58 x P54 x H79 cm – Seat height 44,5 cm – Armrest height 66 cm

Domus Chairs
from 715

customize your Domus Chair

upholstered seat
from 766

upholstered seat & backrest
from 834

> fabrics & leathers

Ilmari Tapiovaara

Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999) is an important step in the development of Scandinavian design during the 20th century. After working with Alvar Aalto in London and Le Corbusier in Paris, he had Eero Aarnio and Yjrö Kukkapuro as assistants. One of his main focuses was the search of the optimal multi-purpose chair, like the Domus chair (or Finn) he drew for the student residence Domus Academica in Helsinki, which was used as office, conference and meals chair, while being stackable. From 1951 to 1960, Ilmari Tapiovaara received no less than 6 gold medals at the Triennale in Milan, more than any other designer.

His furniture is now produced by Artek, which gives it an new international visibility.